Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Auba, Saka, ESR, Odegaard and Pepe all start: Arsenal v Villarreal team news

Arsenal face Villarreal at the Emirates this evening, looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg in Spain to reach the Europa League final.

Here are the official line-ups.

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Xhaka, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Pepe, Aubameyang

Subs: Ryan, Okonkwo, Tierney, Gabriel, Cedric, Chambers, Willian, Nelson, Lacazette, Nketiah, Martinelli

Villarreal: To follow


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Come On!
Lets win this thing!!!

Johnny 4 Hats

Fricking love this line up! So much creativity on the park that we will make chances for sure. We just have to take them.

My only concern is we get over excited and start pushing further and further forwards. Then we walk into Unai’s none too subtle trap.

God, I’m really nervous. But excited. And feel a little bit like I need a poo. Even though I had a big one earlier.


The Far Post

I might be stepping onto something here, but… that comment is 10 on the poo-o-meter 😉

SB Still

I’m big time nervous, ready to be sedated for couple of hours, wake up and check the results. I’m sure our team will give us a hell of a ride but as long as we win and get through this tie 🤞


Interesting stuff. So either Saka at LB or ESR/Saka in CM. Quite punchy either way but I like both moves, personally hoping for the former.

No foot Norbert

Or odegaard cm. Xhaka will be at lb

Forest gooner


Baichung Bhutia

Is Saka going to be playing left back? Or we have a midfield of Partey, Odegaard and ESR? Either way, this is an attacking line up.


Yep, great to see Laca and Tierney back from injury and ready to contribute if need be.


It will be Xhaka at left back again. He’ll either get away with it or give away a penalty. Your guess is as good as mine. Last game he got away with it, so we are due one.


Defeinitely ESR in the ‘Ceballos’ role




You know, I had to go back and look for the error!

Quick tip: Next time just ignore the mistake, most people’s brain automatically reads it correctly. Or, if you have to, jsut use *



Tankard Gooner

Negative e is the corollary for Einstein’s energy equation.
But what do I know.. I’m drunk enough before the match so it doesn’t hurt if we don’t come up with the goods.

Crash Fistfight

I seem to remember seeing something that showed that if you have the correct first and last letters of a word, people’s brains will rearrange the other letters to what they should be without even noticing.

Crash Fistfight

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Reality check

I think Saka will play LB but will have the license to attack while Xhaka provides cover


I like it, considering we need to score. I’m just not sure about Xhaka at lb against Chukwueze


I think Saka will on the left of midfield, helping Xhaka defend Chukwueze. They both will likely switch positions, based on our possession and transition.


Xhaka at left back really, really scares the shit out of me. Their winger had him on toast for the final 15 minutes last game. He did well enough, but seriously, why take the risk again? Right-footed Cedric would be far, far better choice to defend against their greatest threat. I hope this does not come back to bite.


Going for it – exactly what we need to do. Mari / holding don’t exactly fill one with confidence but hopefully we score enough that doesn’t matter

Frank Bascombe

What’s wrong with them, then? Asking for a friend.


Did you watch the first leg? Neither have been particularly solid.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Mari doesn’t make me confident either. Villareal will probably be sniffing around for counter attacks, and Gabriel’s pace would be better suited for it

SB Still

Bellerin is not as quick as was prior to his injury. However the rest of the back 4, unless Saka is playing LB were never known for their speed, which was part of the problem in the 1st leg

Crash Fistfight

They looked fine before the last leg of the semi final. All of a sudden, Mari is crap and Gabriel should be playing (despite him not seemingly gelling with anyone but Luiz).

If they had an actual left back beside them and Xhaka in midfield, maybe they wouldn’t have looked as bad in that game.


This is a game where we’re going to need to be extremely aggressive which will open us up for counters. Mari & Holding are our slowest central defenders which could be a pretty serious issue.


Do or die


Let’s GOOOOOO!!!!!


Naija Gooner

Cmon gooners let’s do this, out of curiosity anybody know why Elneny is not on the bench?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Elneny is on the bench.

Frank Bascombe

Hope you’re right but according to the list above, you’re not.


Subs: Tierney, Willian, Gabriel, Okonkwo, Martinelli, Rya, Nketiah, Elneny, Chambers, Nelson, Soares, Lacazette


Mohamed Elneny is an anagram of Hymen Lemonade. So now you know.



Fred Garvin

I need a moment to digest this.


Thanks, now I know

Naija Gooner

Thanks, blogs didn’t have that up

Nainsley Aitland Miles

He always leaves a name off the team sheet for bantz.


I wonder if ESR is playing as an 8… If so, I’m very interested and think it could work. Not outstanding defensively but he tracks back well, and we know he plays great 1-2s and always wants to move forward. It could work! now let’s win this!!

Crash Fistfight

Of course he is. It wouldn’t make sense to play a midfielder in midfield, rather than at left back.

Up North

Xhaka left back and Saka partering up with Partey ? Seems like that, have Saka done that before ? As I recall he has played either side in attack, deputised as offensive midifelder and played left back,but centreal defensive midfielder ? I’m sceptical to Holding/Mari, one is lack consentration in openings, the second slow. Would prefer Chambers/Gabriel here.
Would prefer a proper back ( Cedric) as left back and add experience and stability with Xhaka/Partey in midfield.

Hope MA hasn’t overthinked this again.


I’m soo sick of Xhaka at left back. He got so lucky last game.

Public Elneny

Yeah. Even if we ‘get away with it’ defensively with him there, he still adds actually nothing going forward. That’s just not what a modern full back is, especially as we need to force the issue a bit this game

Let’s hope he’s in midfield and Saka is at LB. It does look like that’s the case based on the starting xi. Either that or one of Saka, Odegaard or ESR are starting in a deep midfield role, which hasn’t happened before I don’t think


Willian as sub in 95th minute to see out the game please

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Followed by Elneny in the 96th minute.


Almost everything but the kitchen sink – and that may come on as a sub!

There won’t (can’t) be any excuses if we don’t get through tonight – no option for the likes of “We’ll get it right next time” as we’ve heard quite frequently throughout the season.

I think we’ll do it. Fingers crossed.


So Willian’s new nickname is ‘Kitchen Sink’ …. I like that one.


That one might stick.






You really need to show more emotion – tell us how you really feel.


What do we reckon? Saka at LB or odegaard as CM?

Man Manny

We all find out in thirteen minutes.


2-0 to arsenal

Man Manny

There should be lots of skill, movement and speed.
Let’s hope it all comes together for us.

Once a gunner

This formation made us too open we must be careful

Giuseppe Hovno



Let’s goooo. Press them from the start they won’t know what hit em

North Bank Gooner

No one could say that’s not a lineup to make the heart glad. Come on Arsenal!!!


Xhaka injured and Tierney in!


Thought it was Saka


Not good news😕


I’m going to give Arteta my full belief…for 90 minutes + 3


I love the bench more! Tierney, Laca, Martinelli. Impact subs if we need it! COYG!!!


Shame we didn’t have impact starters.


WTF is Partey up to?!


Trying to single handedly destroy our Europa league hopes so far


I am sweating this game is incredibly important but we have the best lineup possible in my opinions so no more excuses


Yep no excuses I’m done with you arteta


Did anyone tell the players how important this game is?

You’d think Arteta would have given that his job is on the line.

Hank Scorpio

Unfortunately I doubt that is the case about Arteta’s job. Anyway, 0-0 at half-time wouldn’t be the worst thing. 1-0 would be much better of course!


Martinelli should be starting if he’s fit. James made the argument on the Arsecast that Martinelli should be left on the bench because he’s “the best sub” and we might need him “to change things”. I love James and the argument makes sense, but it’s exactly this kind of thinking which has left this club wallowing in mediocrity. We’re already expecting the team to be shit and preparing to rescue them. We’re 1-2 behind. The gameplan should be to come at them guns blazing right out of the gate, not to keep it close until the 70th minute and then… Read more »

SB Still

We have been quite poor for the 1st 30 mins.


Two teams playing vintage Emeryball. Bloody awful.

The drop off in quality and intensity compared to the CL games this week is massive.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

We’ve been quite poor for the last 30 months.


We were also poor in the next 68.


This game stinks!


Awful first half


We are better at wasting time then them!


I want the experienced players to step up now and try to ease the burden of the young ones- you see the like of Saka and ESR are far below their normal technical standard. It’s not the lack of will or desire, it’s the pressure. And MA is not as calm as he should be- he is radiating nervousness from the sideline.

SB Still

Oh man Emery is beat us and we thought he was bad and his teams have no identity.

SB Still

On the other hand, we have a bloated but an unbalanced squad!


You never win any game trying not to lose it ! For God’s sake Arteta get the handbrake off and tell them to play with some passion it’s a semi final !!! Only ESR & Pepe showing it so far imho

SB Still

Someone please tell this is going to plan and we are going to win this and make it to the finals.


It is the hope that kills my friend


I’m sorry to hear about your friend.


Would put Elneny in for Partey. Partey has a stinker of a game , losing the ball to often and create nothing. Elneny is safer and have a decent shoot also


Or add Elneny to the midfield


This is Truly fucking awful.

SB Still

What a time it will be for Willian to become a hero!


Useless crap


Get rid of Arteta,! It’s the first time I called for it, and I will not change my mind over it


Well that was shit.

Arteta out.

Up North

This one is on you Arteta. I like you and hoped 100% for your sucess, but this is it. No obvious plan,no impact on players, bad game management.
Arsenal is too big (at least was) a club to hire an apprentice as a manager.
It’s like he’s grasped only half what Guardiola does in City and tries to impose it on a inferior squad.
No CL, No EL, whats next level Confederate league or something ? Better not playing there next season.

A sad, sad evening.


The selection is bad and the problem Arteta has, am done with his system,
This job is too big for him so he need to get a smaller club,
Why he starting Saka and Pepe and dropping Martinelli in the bench,
Aubameyang is not 100% fit so Lacazette nor Martinelli is the answer for for now.
Arsenal better look for Rafael Benitez’s to take over if not Arsenal cannot see any top six.

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